There are slight variations in Student Provided Requirements (riding gear, etc.,) in different courses. These are posted on the main course pages.
Course Requirements (Student Provided)
Learning to ride a motorcycle for the first time may be strenuous on hands, back and legs. We suggest some exercises before taking the course. Examples: A squeeze ball for hand strength and perhaps stretching exercises for the back and legs.
Extra note: Experienced Riders Course Students must provide their own street legal motorcycle and valid Class Six Motorcycle Licence. We provide the bikes for all other courses.
Suggestions and Recommendations
This article is designed to allow you the new rider to make informed decisions when purchasing motorcycle gear for the first time.
There is no intent here to persuade you to purchase gear that you do not need or want. We do, however, recommend you use these suggestions as a guide when purchasing any motorcycle gear.
To start with we use an acronym called P. A. W. S.
P stands for POW! or the impact when your body hits the ground during a spill. Will your gear help cushion the blow?
A stands for ABRASION! which means how long material lasts before it wears through. Even at slow speeds you will slide when you fall, at higher speeds you may slide some distance before coming to a halt, will your clothing protect you?
W stands for WEATHER. In Alberta we can get every season in a single day and even though we may start a ride in beautiful weather, you may finish in rain or even snow. Can your gear keep you warm and dry in all conditions?
S stands for SEE AND BE SEEN. Being visible is the key to being seen and avoiding a crash.
There are three basic styles of helmets for street riding
The helmet which offers the most protection is of course the Full Face Type. The helmet with the least is the Shorty. The reason for this is because the full face protects the head and the face, the Shorty protects only the head from above the ears and the ¾ protects the head as well as the side of the head.
Novelty type helmets are illegal in Alberta.
All helmets must meet the DOT specifications as stated within the Provincial laws. (They are SNELL, CSA and BSI approved)
Helmets are designed to protect your head in case of a fall. They are designed with a hard outer shell, a Styrofoam type (1"+) liner inside that and a comfort lining to fit around your head. They are designed with a hard outer shell, a Styrofoam type (1"+) liner inside that and a comfort lining to fit around your head.
The Styrofoam liner is designed to absorb the shock of impact and help prevent brain injury.
We at AMT advocate that when removing your helmet you should hang the helmet from the helmet lock on the bike or else place the helmet flat on the ground. Placing the helmet on the seat or hanging from the handle bars may allow the helmet to fall to the ground causing damage to the integrity of the Styrofoam impact liner as well as damages the hard plastic shell.
Clean your helmet as per the instructions from the manufacturer. Keep visor clean and free from scratches (use proper cleaning solution and a soft cloth for cleaning)
A Face Shield that can be attached to your ¾ helmet or Shorty helmet is strongly recommended for those windy or rainy days. Our bikes do not have windshields so even cold weather and rain (or bugs and small stones) at speed will be uncomfortable or painful.
Look after your helmet and it should look after you when it is needed. Look after your helmet and it should look after you when it is needed.
SUGGESTION: When purchasing a helmet we strongly suggest you wear it in the store for 10-20 minutes to get the feel of helmet to see if it is too loose or too tight.
Motorcycle Jackets come in 2 basic materials:
1. Leather (light weight or heavy)
2. Manmade Materials (gorteck, ballistic nylon and cordura)
Motorcycle jackets are mainly designed to protect your upper body from a fall and the weather. They are designed to be slightly longer in the arms to fit the position of your arms when riding. They may have tightening positions on the cuffs, neck and waist for a snug fit. They may also have vents in various positions to allow venting on warmer days. They may have built in elbow, shoulder and back protectors. Some are waterproof.
Both type of jackets have pros and cons, we suggest you do some research.
More and more clothing for motorcyclists are getting away from the basic black concept of clothing. Some of the darker clothing has added piping that is highly reflective at night. The brighter the clothing the more aware a motorist is of the motorcyclist.
The manmade materials jackets are catching up with the heavy leather jackets in that the sliding ability of both at 80kph on asphalt is approx 80 ft before wearing through.
The minimum requirement for our course is a jean jacket which offers minimal protection, both from the weather and abrasion.
There are many styles of gloves from gauntlet type to fingerless. Choose a style that you like and maybe buy 2-3 different types for the season and conditions.
Whatever style you purchase make sure that you do get motorcycle gloves as they are similar to a jacket they are designed for riding. They do have different stitching compared to work style gloves and the fingers are slightly curved.
AMT insists that you have full finger gloves when taking our course.
The minimum that you want to wear on a motorcycle is blue jeans.
Jeans (standard) do not have a very long slide factor however unless you are purchasing riding jeans that have added Kevlar and extra padding.
Leather riding pants provide extra protection. Riding pants made of the same materials as jackets provide extra protection as well.
Chaps offer additional protection over jeans. Good for breaking the wind and spills involving the legs. However they do no good in the rain as they only protect the legs not the crotch and seat area where the rain will pool. Chaps are not good if you land on your butt.
Boots as well as all motorcycle gear come in many styles and you have to find what you like.
However, here are some suggestions for what you should look for:
1. A Low heel on a boot is far better that a high heel as you will be sliding your feet to operate the shift and brake levers and it is far easier to slide than to lift your foot.
2. Leather soles can be very dangerous as the leather sole tends to slide over small stones and sand on the road like leather to ice (very slippery).
3. Ankle & lower leg protection is very important if you spill off a bike and it lands on your ankle. Are you protected?
4. Are your boots weather proof/waterproof? Cold wet feet really make you feel miserable.
Weather plays an important factor in motorcycling as we may be involved in the ever changing weather of Central Alberta whether we want to be or not.
Please come prepared.
Rain suits may be purchased at any m/c dealer or other places. Rain suits purchased at dealers are designed for motorcycling, rain suits purchased at other locals may not be suitable, and where you purchase is up to you.
Some important things to look for are:
1. Is it two pieces or one unit (one piece is harder to get on/off)
2. A lining saves you from inside condensation
3. Velcro type fasteners or elastic at cuffs, neck and ankle makes it easier to put on or off
4. It must fit over all my other bike gear (remember to get a size larger to fit over a M/C Jacket and or chaps)
Water proof gloves are also available. However you can also improvise and get some latex gloves for inside your gloves or dish washer gloves to fit over you leather gloves.
Water proof boots are another purchase you may make. You can also buy pull over type booties for your regular boots. If you are in a pinch you could put plastic bags over your feet and then put your boots on over top.
REMEMBER TO STAY WARM AND DRY
DRESS IN LAYERS.
ITEMS CAN BE REMOVED (If the weather changes) If you haven't got it, it can't be put on.